Friday, June 09, 2006

World Cup Spotlight: Ecuador

I don't think anyone, including their own fans, expected Ecuador to come off as well as they did against Poland today, scoring as many goals in their opening match as they did total in 2002 before exiting their group in last place. But don't go placing your bets on them just yet--inconsistency seems to be their downfall, as they've beaten both Brazil and Argentina in qualifying rounds. Apparently the high altitude conditions at home in Quito contribute to favorable results that they haven't been able to reliably replicate abroad.

But there is this: Colombian coach Luis Suarez not only believes in his squad's ability to go far, but is said to value playing football that's beautiful to watch, which makes him a man after my own heart. Frankly, Ecuador's one of the World Cup squads that scarcely registered with me before today (when I think of Ecuador, I think ooh, Galapagos islands, not football!), but now I'll be keeping my eye on them to see if they can continue to upset sensible expectations and expert predictions. It's just that sort of thing that makes the World Cup so much fun, after all.

No comments: